Fishkill Ridge Loop via Overlook and Fishkill Ridge Trail

MODERATE 40 reviews

Fishkill Ridge Loop via Overlook and Fishkill Ridge Trail is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Beacon, New York that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September.

Distance: 5.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,538 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

This hike starts on the Overlook Trail, which ascends to the Fishkill Ridge Trail. You then follow the latter trail to Bald Hill, after which you descend by way of some woods roads, an unnamed white-blazed trail, and the Overlook Trail again. Along the initial part of the hike, there are good views to the north and west once you gain some elevation. The views from the Fishkill Ridge Trail are quite spectacular, with several spots where the New York City skyline is visible. On the way down, you pass the (marked) site of an airplane wreck. The terrain along the route varies from steep to relatively level. There is a parking area just off the end of Sunnyside Road in the Town of Fishkill. From the parking area, walk around a fence and past a bulletin board, then make a U-turn to the right to start on the Overlook Trail (red). At about 0.4 miles, stay straight where a white-blazed trail starts off to the left (leading to Malouf’s Mountain Camp, a private campground). At about 0.9 miles, you start to get a view to the northwest (leaves permitting), including the Fishkill Correctional Facility and the Hudson River. In a while there are a few more, unobstructed views to the northwest, now including the Mid-Hudson Bridge and the Catskill Mountains. There is a viewpoint to the west at about 1.2 miles from which you can see Beacon in the foreground, then the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, Newburgh (including Stewart Airport), and the Shawangunk Ridge in the background. At about 1.8 miles the Overlook Trail ends, at which point (which also has a nice view) you should turn left onto the Fishkill Ridge Trail (white) which eventually begins a steep ascent leading, at about 2.2 miles to a clearing near the top of Lambs Hill, with not only views to the north, west, and southwest, but also plenty of low-bush blueberries in season. After a further short climb, you reach the top of Lambs Hill, after which you descend (with a pitch varying from mild to moderately steep) to reach Dozer Junction at 2.4 miles, where you cross a woods road (a blue-blazed trail starts to the right) at a spot where a bulldozer has been abandoned. Shortly thereafter there are a couple of limited views to the southeast. At about 2.6 miles you reach a point from which you get a good view to the south (Hudson River and the top of the New York City skyline). About 0.5 miles later you reach another spot with views to the south (now including Lake Valhalla in the foreground, the Hudson River, the Bear Mountain Bridge, and the New York City skyline). Continuing along, the trail reaches a clearing from which you get views to the east (Route 9, the various rock quarries along it, and the former IBM-East Fishkill plant to the northeast) and, shortly thereafter, a bit of the Hudson River to the west. After a series of ups and downs, you reach the top of Bald Hill, where there is a short detour to the right for a viewpoint to the south (including the New York City skyline) and the southeast. This makes a great rest stop. Returning to the main trail, continue north for a short distance, then, at 3.7 miles, turn left off the Fishkill Ridge Trail onto a woods road. In another very short while, turn right onto another woods road at a T-junction. In a few hundred yards, turn left onto yet another woods road, on which the descent is alternately moderately steep and just plain steep. At 4.2 miles you will notice some flags and a couple of posters to the left of the trail which relate the story of the 1945 crash of a plane piloted by a World War II hero (Dixie Kiefer). There are a few pieces of the plane still scattered around the area. In another 0.3 miles, stay straight at an intersection with an unnamed white-blazed trail. At 4.9 miles, you rejoin the Overlook Trail, and you'll be back at your starting point shortly after.

hiking
muddy
26 days ago

Section with white markers is difficult to follow, the “unmarked” section was surprisingly much easier.

Long version of this trail , very nice views

Blazed trails were easy to follow and had nice mix of up and down sections. Narrow trail at points and some nice views. The unmarked trail was easy to follow. History lesson along the way on the Mount Beacon Eight at the crash site with apparent remind of the wreckage.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

Overall really liked this trail. I think it could use a couple more trail markers, sometimes they were tough to catch or see on a turn. Also- the reds alternate between red and orange which can be a little confusing. The unmarked trails were relatively easy to navigate but there was some deep mud on the downhill. Only saw one other person on this. Peaceful having the woods and those views almost entirely to myself. I’d do this again, probably faster when I know all the quirks of the trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Great route with superb views. Not that the route has been updated to be clearer at the point where you leave the blazed trails.

hiking
8 months ago

This is a very nice trail but I agree with the reviewer before me that is was difficult to find the un-marked trail down. So much so - I couldn’t find it with the lack of leaves and vegetation. So had to walk all the way back and I was not planning for such a long hike. Otherwise it’s a very nice hike with some great view spots and not a ton of people like some of the surrounding peaks.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Great route. The only tricky part is at the end, where you need to find the unmarked trail back downhill. I walked up to Bald Hill, took a few photos of the view there, then retraced my steps slightly until I saw the trail downhill on the right. Going back this way saves you a ton of time and allows you to see the memorial to the Navy plane crash that took place here in 1945. All in all, this is an awesome hike with some nice elevation gains and views out multiple ways - up and down the Hudson, back toward Mt. Beacon fire tower, and east toward Carmel where you can see (I think) the Ninham Mountain fire tower in the distance. My only question is why the trail back to the parking area is unmarked. If they added blazes it would make it easier for people to find the loop. One little note - when the red trail meets the white it's worthwhile taking the white trail west for a few hundred feet to get some great views of Mt. Beacon, then retracing your steps.

hiking
Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Nice hike. Good work out and nice views. I’d rate it as moderate-difficult, it’s just feels tiring! I love this hike for an nyc getaway You can start from sunny side road and follow the red trail which is scenic, passing a campground, and has a bit of a scramble. Right where the red and white intersect is my favorite view point, some dwarf pines, and even a good place to turn around. You could continue on and loop the white trail passing Dozer Junction (an old broken down bulldozer) lambs hill and bald hill. From the beacon train station you can walk to the southern trail head starting at Pocket road. Heading north on the white trail. (To the right it’s mt beacon) It’s about an hour walk through Main Street, or take a cab. Walking up this route passes a pretty creek and some little waterfalls. You pass a carriage road shortly after the creek and if you were to make a right off the trail end up at a swimming hole.

hiking
6 days ago

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